We meet him.
The "perfect" match, right?
The quick and dizzying courtship ensues and before you know it… you're talking rings, dates and vows. Before long he's saying "Let's move in together", "You're the one"… and worst of all… "You're my soul mate."
In hindsight we realize there is no such thing as soul mates, that there are many fish in the sea and a number of them might be well suited matches… some better than others obviously but no "perfect" one.
In hindsight we realize that slow isn't a bad thing. That letting things progress naturally is best and that anyone who is trying to hurry things faster than they play out has secret motives and we should run.
In hindsight we realize that moving in together isn't wise because then it makes it that much more difficult to back out of a relationship when we've seen possible red flags there may be trouble ahead.
But with a narcissistic sociopath these lessons in love are learned often on the back end of a relationship … after much damage has occurred and sadly perhaps even to our children.
Maybe you saw red flags that he wasn't healthy for you but you dismissed them. Maybe you thought you were overreacting or second guessed yourself… maybe you wanted it to work so so badly that you admittedly later see that you contributed to the facade that it was good in your desperate denial of any toxicity.
5 Things A Narcissistic Sociopath Does In A Relationship:
Your opinion doesn't matter. He/she doesn't care what you think. Each time you express yourself; what you think, he/she will shoot it down as displeasing. They always believe they are right and will make all the decisions on where to live, how to manage and spend finances, your sex life and parenting. No matter how much you try you can never please them as their expectations are so incredibly high you can never meet them.
2. One-sided communication.
He/she will not be able to effectively communicate with you. He/she will use tactics of callous arrogance, intimidation, stone-walling and silent treatment instead.
He/she will objectify you sexually not value you as a person. You could be anyone… you're a non-person, a useful tool to satisfy their every whim and desire.
A narcissistic sociopath will cheat and lie pathologically about it. He/she will expect you to "just get over it"… a common phrase narcs use to gloss over much of their immoral behavior. In fact, a narc will believe that their spouse "drove them to cheat"; if you hadn't been "this way or done that" they think: "I wouldn't have had to cheat on you. This is your fault." They take zero responsibility for their poor actions.
a. The sex is always one-sided. He/she ensures their needs are met but offers no reciprocal satisfaction to their partner. They always expect it when they want it and it's so often (to the extreme) the other partner isn't even given the opportunity to initiate.
b. The sex involves manipulation. He/she tries to discern how far they can make their partner go and compromise on what they feel comfortable with.
He/she is a taker and more than likely you're a co-dependent and/or highly empathetic individual who has confused love and sacrifice to an unhealthy extreme. You may tend to put the success of the relationship ahead of your own needs becoming less and less satisfied because you're giving so much and receiving little to nothing back. Co-dependents are often the product of one or two parents who were narcissistic… they are merely living out what they've known their entire childhood; desperately seeking love and on some level they question if they are capable of ever finding someone healthy who will love them. The best thing to do is go no contact with a narcissistic sociopath and enter therapy to begin learning healthier ways to relate to others especially in regards to romantic relationships.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2015
From the moment they are conceived we as parents have so much hope for them.
We hope for a smooth birth, on-target developmental milestones, a childhood of sweet memories, a solid education, a relationship with Christ, a circle of loving folks who care about them… people who have their best interests who pray for and help guide them to adulthood.
Then one day they meet a man…
and they get engaged to soon marry.
We, along with our daughter, may fall into the woozy trap of pre-wedding bliss… becoming wrapped up in the dizzying spin of wedding plans… bridal registry, gifts, dresses, color schemes, venues, cakes and vows… we become all-consumed with helping to choose the right invites, the most flattering photographer and the best honeymoon destination.
As parents we are there, side by side… helping, guiding and giving input, albeit perhaps not always wanted… we are fluttering about, worrying about details that perhaps are not really truly important at the end of the day but that seem so then.
But in all those moments… in all those whirlwind days of shopping, of ohhh's and awe's… there were without a doubt a moment or two that brought tears to your eyes… a moment or two that pulled your heartstrings… that made you think to yourself: I want to freeze time; this moment with her.
And then, it's gone. Just like that.
But there is one moment as a parent you really need to have with your daughter.
Before you proceed to walk her down the aisle on that save the date…
Before you clasp her sweet hand in yours and lean in to whisper "I love you"…
Before you nod to the groom and peck her blushed cheek as you give her away…
Please take a moment… take one moment to tell your daughter this:
"You're always welcome back home."
Granted, you may like the man she's marrying… you may steadfastly believe that she's about to become one with an honorable, kind, trustworthy and faithful man. You may hold him in high esteem and already consider him to be like a son to you. You may have already seen him handle difficulties with your daughter with grace, understanding and love. You may have already seen him as a mixture of strength and sweetness when your daughter has admittedly been less than lovely. You may have already witnessed his ability to admit he was wrong in a humble manner. You may have complete faith that this couple is fully capable of putting Christ first and keeping their covenant sacred above all other relationships. You may with complete certainty believe he loves her without a doubt… with his whole heart and would without question lay down his own life in any situation for your daughter.
BUT… WHAT IF YOU'RE WRONG?
What if he's not who you think he is?
What if he's not truly who he's portrayed himself as?
What if he is not anything like what you believe him to be?
All fathers… all parents need to have an all important conversation with their daughter when they marry… that in the event this man is not who he has claimed to be… that if indeed this man turns out to be a walking nightmare… if his mask falls bit by bit after the wedding day… or even years down the road… she needs to be told in no uncertain words she is always welcome back home.
She needs to be told she does not have to take abuse.
She needs to be told she doesn't have to "suck it up and keep trying."
She needs to be told she doesn't have to worry you won't want her back.
She needs to be told that cheating doesn't have to be
"tolerated" and swept under the rug.
She needs to be told she doesn't have to be concerned with such frivolous things like how she and two children would merge back into your home…
even if only for an interim because they are ALWAYS welcome.
She needs to be told that you will not be angry with her.
She needs to be told "It will be okay and we will figure it out."
She needs to be told that you will be there for her. Always. Any time day or night.
She needs to be told that it is okay to say "I made a mistake. I'm coming home."
One day you will "give away" your little girl… you will hand over your leadership, your protection, your financial providing... to her soon to be husband… entrusting he will step up to the plate and handle his responsibilities well.
Hopefully as your daughter's primary male role model, as her father, you have taught her that ultimately she is God's daughter; that she is worthy of being loved and loved well… that she is loved by Christ who died for her on the cross… that she has a Savior who adores her and in turn she has sought a man who reflects love.
But if for whatever reason her happily ever after ends up becoming the worst nightmare ever…
Let her know she is always welcome back home.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2015
5 Tips For Father's:
1. It's so important that fathers have developed an intentional disciple-type relationship with whom their daughter is planning to marry. You have an awesome opportunity to help guide this man spiritually and model being a good husband for him through your own actions.
2. Don't wait for your daughter's boyfriend to come to you asking for her hand in marriage… be proactive. Ask him what his intentions are; show him you take an active role in her life, not a passive one.
3. Today, we have so many jokes (at least in the South) about dad's being trigger happy regarding their daughters and whom their dating. But the truth is… above all father's need to have discernment; is the guy she's dating a genuinely good guy at heart, a believer, just spiritually still immature? There's a difference between that guy and a sociopath… it's essential for you to figure out which one he is.
4. Being honest with him in your conversations helps him see how you've grown in your role as husband and father. Admit to any stumbles you've had along the way and how your perspective has changed… being an emotionally and spiritually healthy man doesn't equate to never admitting faults.
5. Set expectations for how you believe she should be treated. Let him know in no uncertain terms that abuse at any time, in any way, shape, or form is not to be accepted… and that no matter how much you like someone she marries… if that happens your door is wide open for her to return at any time.
As I sit here and type my daughter sleeps soundly beside me… stuffed animals and a cherished Madame Alexander baby doll are tucked in amongst us. Each week she gets to pick a night to crash in my room and naturally also an entourage of bears, hello kitties, even an alligator arrives along with storybooks and giggles. Twinkle lights above give off a soft glow and the light from the laptop shines like a beacon in the dark room after she's fallen asleep. As parents we wish for sweet dreams for our children, for good rest, for mornings filled with smiles and the pattering of small feet ready to start the day and eat a healthy breakfast. We pray for God's word to guide them in all they do, we pray for their protection, we focus on their education and even contemplate their future one day… we take into account every talk we need to have, we model good choices and scrutinize how we can improve… we talk to God, our mother, our sister, our friends, our pastor for feedback on raising these precious children who will one day be adults. Essentially we try to do everything we can to ensure that our children will be fully prepared with wisdom and discernment to be Godly adults in a responsible manner… in regards to their future relationships, their career, even their health and safety but unfortunately, try as we might, that doesn't always pan out either due to poor choices in our parenting and or unfortunate sins chosen by our children.
Children become teens and then young adults and unfortunately just because someone turns twenty, twenty-one or even twenty-two, etc does not equate to them being ready for the adult world. As parents, we may cringe at the choices they make… they are so excited to finally (!) be making choices of their own that they are perhaps making them without thinking through the possible consequences.
As a teen I was so ready to get out of my parents house (truth be told I wasn't the only one) I made unwise choices… sometimes we want to escape a dark place so badly (which in some cases may be justified or not) that we trade one harmful environment for another… seemingly innocent at first; but then weeks, months, even years down the road we realize we are up a creek and don't have a paddle. We may realize we shoulda just stayed where we were and hung in a little longer. Fast forward down the road the situation is so far gone we may have no idea how to escape the whole new hell were in and we long for the days of back when… if only we could begin again and not have chosen the path we took.
Dear Prodigal Daughter:
It's always the same story it seems… my parents don't understand me. My parents don't listen. My parents are uncool and don't get it. My parents think I make bad decisions. My parents think I'm rebellious. My parents think I'm bad. My parents think I'm a troublemaker.
You're right… you're not bad, you're not a troublemaker, probably not even rebellious. But maybe you're idealistic, maybe you're naive, maybe immature, maybe, just maybe despite your good intentions there is a possibility that you're just plain wrong. Or maybe even worse, your parent(s) is/are abusive and you're ready to escape no matter what the alternative environment might be.
You say you love him, this guy you're with. You've committed yourself to him and the relationship. You move in together. You tell everyone how wonderful he is. You coo and oooo over how cute he is, how cool he is… how he's the mac to your cheese… to the outsiders that you share limited information about the relationship with he seems like a dream come true. On social media it's all gloss, sunshine and ponies who poop confetti… you and your guy are the epitome of the perfect couple… photo after photo ensue and the upbeat comments posted only serve to validate it all.
But behind closed doors is another story… behind closed doors is the truth. Behind closed doors is the stinking decay of what is to come however much we don't want to acknowledge it… a future that lacks peace, love and beauty but instead a future that will bear struggle, division and resentment… ultimately regret.
But maybe you don't believe me.
Perhaps you have one car you must share… and typically you're left without a ride. Maybe you don't have a job because he hasn't allowed you to get one… isn't it just too sweet how he's "taking care of you" like that? Uh huh. Maybe you're both working overtime to pay off all his debts… wait, why are you paying on his debt? Shouldn't he step up and handle that himself? Or perhaps you're the one with the job… and working your tail off to support the two of you… while he… wait, what does he do, again? Oh, yeah… nothing. He does nothing. Or maybe he is busy… with the remote, with a six pack of beer, or sniffing something up his nose… or maybe he's busy in the bedroom with another chick while you bust your butt all day making minimum wage. Minimum wage? Yeah… because didn't he decide that there wasn't enough money for you to finish school? Or maybe you decided out of the goodness of your little ole heart to put your dreams and education on the back burner… how noble… while he did whatever he wished. What you may not realize yet is that there will never be a better time for you to finish that education… the best time is now not later. What you may not realize is that any man who sits on his rear while you go earn the money and fry the bacon too is not a man. A guy who allows you to sacrifice your goals and dreams so he can get ahead in life is not partnership material. The man who tries to control whether you work, who you see, how you spend your time is not a man for you.
You're what? You're pregnant, you say? Oh, let me guess… he lied and said he couldn't have kids… (I've heard about every story out there) or he hid your birth control, or maybe you now realize birth control is not 100% effective (yikes) as you originally believed. Maybe guilt eats at you day and night and you regret the act(s) you participated in and wish more than anything you could have that re-do. But now he wants you to get an abortion? Let's ponder this… Is he going to pick and choose which children you keep if you get married one day? Are ya'll gonna draw straws or what? If he's not utilizing self control regarding sex with you now, what makes you believe he can once you're married one day? How can you trust he won't have a "slip up"; a hot and heavy false step with another woman? The truth is… you can't. Can people change? Yes, without a doubt with spiritual growth not another human... So do you want to bet your future on him being capable of changing?
Maybe he wants you to keep the baby. Now he's talking marriage, "I do's" and rings… slipping a ring, er, bandaid on the situation isn't going to fix it… the truth is… getting hitched doesn't make having a baby out of wedlock like it didn't happen… why put a child through the inevitable reality of a likely divorce down the road? There is the chance he will feel trapped one day; that you got pregnant on purpose to get a proposal… there is a chance you might always wonder who else you could have married if it hadn't been for "sucking it up and trying to make it work" because you're now carrying a tiny human that brings you together forever… adding the pressures of marriage on top of a child's arrival in nine months? Perhaps the best thing to do is co-parent to the best of your ability and do a "wait and see"… if it works out, great… if not, move on.
I've been there in several of these scenarios.
The truth is… these scenarios are amongst many many others women find themselves in everyday… and the phrase "find themselves in" is not to be taken as not taking responsibility for the choices one made but to point out the fact that many times what we do truly believe to be good-intentioned, sound decisions at one point we later find ourselves (sometimes years later) shaking our heads in astonishment and sorrow that we could have ever EVER at one time believed we were making good choices. We now look back with complete disbelief and a desire to slap ourselves upside the face (!) wondering what on earth we were thinking… for now the reality of our past poor decisions sit squarely before us with stark clarity.
So why didn't we just tell the guy: "Look, if you don't get your you-know-what-together" I'm outta here!… or "If you don't start treating me the way I should be treated" peace out! Why don't we speak up? Why don't we just tell him if he doesn't start doing x,y,z were outta there and were hiking it home to mama and/or daddy?
Likely it goes back to pride.
Your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God. Deuteronomy 8:14
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. James 4:10 (NLT)
If we do see an issue and yet waffle with leaving it's usually due to how we will be perceived once home. Will we be told: "I told you so!" when we return by our family? Will we be sneered at and made fun of? Will we be put down and berated for "being such an idiot"? Will we be met with tension, friction and judgment instead of joy, mercy and grace?
Will we return home to open arms? To thankful smiles and tight-as-you-can-squeeze hugs? Will there be anger and resentment or warmth and forgiveness? Will there be affirmation we are important and mean something to them or will we be met with hostility and reproach? Will we be trusted and shown love or will we be treated like a prisoner and dished out hate?
Sometimes we fear returning and admitting we were wrong.
Sometimes we fear returning and facing the people we left behind.
Sometimes we fear returning and dealing with whatever reaction is waiting for us.
Like the prodigal son in the bible who returns we may wonder if we will be met with open arms, warmth, love and forgiveness… or detachment, coldness, resentment and wrath.
Your earthly father may hug you but have a grudge in his heart.
Your earthly father may never look at you with love again.
Your earthly father may not let you return.
Our sins in life against others are ultimately also sins against Christ.
When were young we want more than anything to be free.
To make our own decisions.
To make our own way.
To live our life.
But the further we stray from home, from our Father, the worse off we will be.
The great news is:
Christ won't turn His back on you.
Our Father In Heaven is ready to recover the lost.
No matter what your earthly father says or does take heart in knowing that Christ died for you… you're His beloved daughter and no matter how far away you run, who you're with, how badly you've stumbled… Christ is there to love you and welcome you with open arms.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 201
names have been omitted in this post
Hearing the air conditioning come on and smelling the scent of coconut hand cream hanging in the humid interior I pattered with bare feet into the kitchen. In it's dark shadows I reached for the handle on the fridge and yanked it open. Peering inside with the light that shone outward at me I surveyed with quick eyes what it contained… my eyes narrowed at it's contents… a bag of salad, a jar of salsa, a package of bacon. It was time to go grocery shopping, I thought to myself, making a mental note to do that the next day and plucked one of the last Yoplait yogurts from the glass shelf. Ripping the little top wrapper off I absentmindedly licked off the smudge of yogurt on it and then tossed it in the trash… grabbing a spoon from the utensil drawer I heard my mother call out from the next room.
"You up?" She called to me.
I made my way to the den and stood in the doorway with my late night snack.
"I can't cycle down. Big shock, I know." I told her dryly.
"I couldn't sleep either, so I got up to clip coupons. Exciting, huh?" She replied with a wry grin as she sat on the taupe couch. She cut out coupons by the light of the lamp beside her. I snorted in response and took a seat on the opposite end wearing knee length black leggings and an oversized faded t-shirt, tucking my legs under me. I'd recently gotten my hair cut into a long bob and now pulled it up into only what one could call the bam bam hairdo like on the Flintstones.
"So… how did it go today? Your conversation with her?" My mother asked me.
I twisted the hair elastic round my nimble fingers and spoke "It went alright… I feel good about the conversation. I believe it went well... I kept it very simple and emphasized that any and all questions are welcome." I told her. Earlier that day my daughter and I had watched a sermon online we had missed at church one recent Sunday… our pastor had tackled the issue of sex and the importance of it's confinement to only marriage based on God's word. In the sermon he briefly touched on the importance of faithfulness between a husband and wife and how easy it is for the sin of sex outside marriage to infiltrate our lives affecting us in physical and spiritual ways years down the road we never saw coming nor were prepared for. Afterward we'd had a discussion about what we had watched and then a birds and the bees talk. Her initial reaction was about what I had expected for most kids her age… "Ew" and "I'm never getting married."
But as we discussed the realities of what God desires for us in our relationships where intimacy is concerned it became clear to her that "infidelity" and "cheating" were not merely just going on dates behind your spouses back, that being unfaithful was not just kissing someone other than who you were married to but much much more… as she became more enlightened through our birds and the bees discussion it also became glaringly obvious just what exactly her father had been doing when he was unfaithful and even now as an unmarried man. Her expression grew from shock to disgust. There was no more keeping that stink in the bag… it was out and exposed in bright light.
I spoke as I dipped my spoon in the yogurt cup. "As a society were surrounded by sex, it's thrown in our faces constantly, were consistently advertised a barrage of sensuality and lust. Have you watched the Bachelorette? Did you see that guy Ben Z? Hello? Have you flipped through any magazines and noticed Scott Foley in the Charisma ads? There's certainly no lack of attractive men to put you in a hot and heavy state… but were instructed to rebuke it and push past it. "
Were to cling to God's word and flee from sin. A few minutes of gratification? We pay for that a long time, for some a lifetime. We know that the devil tempts us through deceitful lies… like sex is no big deal, were already too far gone in our sin, this is just a little sin or grace is redefined as the green light to do anything we please because were already forgiven, right? If it's not what God wants for us we should respect that… that He made sex to be within the safety net of marriage… because He knows what is best for us and wants us to live a fruitful life not one of damage and regret.
My mother nodded "True… I guess what makes me angriest is the fact he's making poor choices that are being paraded in front of his daughter." She told me referring to my ex and our daughter.
"Hey… go sin all you want behind closed doors… go sin your pants off… go act like an animal and get yer freak on… It's sadly no secret the devil has some people firmly in his grasp, that the power of evil is in full force in their lives… we may not agree with some folks choices but at the very least please don't do it around the kids!" I stressed. "That's my gripe. He's had women in and out of his bedroom like a revolving door. It's ridiculous that some people don't have the basic common sense to not parade their sex life outside of marriage around children. This isn't a soap opera he's living, it's our kid's childhood and I don't appreciate him screwing it up. If you can't control yourself any better than that or choose not to… then just don't have custody… hand her over and go live your life in a perpetual sex driven state… because he clearly can't be a spiritual compass… heck, forget the spiritual aspect for a second. At this point… it's just about basic empathy… someone who doesn't believe in Christ can have that…. why would you want to put your child through a childhood that isn't in their best interests? This is a basic." I pointed out. "If you're that deficit and can't see that you're selfish and need to change then you have no business having custody… at least until you get some help."
Sexual impurity and at worse sexual addiction (an unyielding desire to have sex) can seriously impact and affect a family, whether intact or divided by divorce. It's imperative that when our children are of an appropriate age we have open discussions based on their maturity level regarding sexual impurity. Ideally children would be shielded from an environment where the adults in their life are engaging in sexually immoral behavior and regardless must be assured that they are not to blame for the adults poor choices in their life.
Sex addiction is no more about sex than other addictive behaviors… gambling is not really about gambling or nail biting about nails… instead it's merely a symptom of a greater issue…Narcissists and Sociopaths are known to have sex addictions.
The effects on our children witnessing a sexually immoral relationship under the same roof they reside in are long lasting… children grow up believing that the behaviors they are surrounded by are normal; what is expected in their own relationships one day… leading to promiscuity, emotional soul ties and a life of sexual sin.
Folks who engage in infidelity show signs of a sexual addiction as it interferes with their marriage and family…. and need intervention through counseling to stop. When someone chooses to take part in an extramarital affair they are putting their own overwhelming need for physical gratification ahead of their family's needs. Hence, the addict is willing to risk losing everything in their life to pursue their sexual satisfaction. Men (and women) who pressure their partners to have threesomes and take part in sexual acts that they aren't comfortable with ultimately don't care about the person they are married to…
The truth is, you could be anyone and nothing you do or say can change
the person you're with for the better.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2015